JARS v41n3 - President's Message

President's Message
ARS Annual Meeting, Eugene, Oregon, May 2,1987
Bill Tietjen
Guilford, Connecticut

It takes a great number of people to run an organization of this size. There are many volunteers at the chapter level, at the district level and at the national level doing their thing to make it work, and we would like to recognize their efforts at this time.

My first task on taking office was to find a new Plant Registrar. This turned out to be very easy. Within a week after the vacancy was known, Jay Murray from the Princeton Chapter volunteered for the job. Since she was so enthusiastic and had several computers at her disposal, she was appointed. Her annual report is the understatement of the year. It simply says as follows: "Registration applications are being processed as they are received. There is no backlog. All the names listed in the International Rhododendron Register have been entered into the database along with the original RHS references in which descriptions have been published. The listing includes approximately 10,000 names. The next additions to the database will be the names of rhododendrons and azaleas which are unregistered but are being sold in the trade."

In addition, Jay has simplified the registration form. A copy of a typical completed registration form has been printed in the Spring, 1987, issue of the Journal together with instructions for completing the form.

It is interesting that Jay used an application from Dick Brooks as an example. Besides being a nurseryman and avid hybridizer, Dick has been an active member of the ARS Board of Directors for the past 10 years. He is District 6 Director and has served as Chairman of the Bylaws Implementation Committee and the Bylaws Revisions Committee. Dick is also a member of the Research Committee.

For some time now the Society has had a real need for a Chairman of Public Relations. Betty Spady was appointed chairman as a result of the success she was having in the Portland Chapter. She organized a meeting of chapter PR representatives at the Western Regional Meeting in Monterey, September, 1986, and a second meeting at the Northeast Regional Meeting, in Connecticut, November, 1986. The ideas exchanged at these two meetings were summarized and sent to all chapter PR representatives for their information. Yesterday, a PR meeting was held with 21 chapter representatives present to exchange additional ideas. Best of all, there were several reports of how well some of the previous ideas were working for chapters who tried them.

As editor of the ARS Journal , Adele Jones has been doing an exceptionally fine job. Recent issues have been a boost for the Seed Exchange in that they have provided color pictures of plants, seeds of which have been available in both the 1986 and 1987 catalogs. After publication of pictures of Chelsea Reach hybrids, seed provided by Al Smith of Canada, and pictures of the Ross-Boge Rhododendron macrophyllum expedition, there was a big demand for the seed.

After five years of negotiations, this year's catalog offered seed from the Rhododendron Species Foundation. The seed was collected wild in Yunnan, China, and was of sufficient quantity that every request could be filled. For this the RSF received $313, the purchase price of the seed lots sold. In addition, RSF received $66, the seed lots sold from Warren Berg's trip to Tibet. The Cecil and Molly Smith Garden netted $107 for the seed lots they provided to the exchange. Peter Cox, from Scotland, sent seed collected from his recent trip to China with a note saying, "It's time the US got more of this seed".

The Research Foundation and the ARS Endowment fund were each given $1000. The success of the seed exchange program is due to the faithfulness of the contributors. I would like to recognize anyone who has ever contributed to the seed exchange.

George Ring is the newly appointed Chairman of the Research Committee. He and the committee spent five hours reviewing twenty proposals. Interest rates being lower this year, there was only $5,500 available for funding the worthy projects. Accordingly, the Trustees were only able to authorize funding for six projects.

Due to a two month delay in obtaining a non-profit mailing permit, a request for Research Foundation contributions, sent to the entire membership had to be delayed until February. Nevertheless, the membership was very generous. To date, the foundation has received over $2,000 from 85 members. Replies to this request are still coming in and we thank you for your generosity.

We also thank you for the contributions to the ARS Endowment Fund. Since October 1, 1986, $4,255 has been added to the principal of the fund. Income from the ARS Endowment Fund was used to publish a new booklet on the plant rating procedure and will be used to fund the new membership roster which will be sent with the Summer, 1987, issue of the Journal.

Our current membership stands at 5,186 and if each member gave no more than a $5 gift to either the Research Foundation or the ARS Endowment Fund, we could increase the principal of these funds by $25,930. That would be a major increase.

We now come to the time when we change officers. Ted Van Veen has served as Secretary-Treasurer for as long as anyone can remember. The new bylaws require that we make a change. On behalf of the Society, I would like to thank Ted for his many years of dedicated service and a job well done.

Joe Jones, Portland Chapter, who has been Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee for the past two years, has been elected Treasurer. Paula Cash, Portland Chapter, has been re-elected Executive Secretary. Austin Kennell, Middle Atlantic Chapter has been re-elected Eastern Vice-President and becomes the Senior VP. Everett Farwell, California Chapter, is elected Western Vice-President and Harold Greer, Eugene Chapter, becomes your next President.

Thank you very much.